arm's length


Definition of arm's length

1 : a distance discouraging personal contact or familiarity kept former friends at arm's length now
2 : the condition or fact that the parties to a transaction are independent and on an equal footing

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Other Words from arm's length

arm's-length \ ˈärmz-​ˈleŋ(k)th How to pronounce arm's-length (audio) , -​ˈlen(t)th \ adjective

Examples of arm's length in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

For the most part, Liverpool had enough in the tank to keep Burnley at an arm's length without expending too much energy on trying to bury their opponents., "Twitter Reacts as Solid Liverpool Smash Burnley 3-0 to Go Top of the Premier League," 31 Aug. 2019 Chubb also might just be good enough to keep Hunt at stiff-arm's length after his return from suspension. Des Bieler,, "The top fantasy football running backs to draft in 2019," 8 Aug. 2019 But Goumas also made direct eye contact with another set of birds that approached the chips, which were just an arm's length away. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Here's Exactly How to Keep Jerk Seagulls Away from Your Food, According to Science," 7 Aug. 2019 Neville will be extremely pleased by his team's control of possession, which allowed them to keep Cameroon at arm's length for large periods., "England 3-0 Cameroon: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Lionesses Roar Into Quarter Finals," 23 June 2019 The Frenchman created United's opening goal and was so strong on the ball, always seeming to keep the nearest Leeds defender at arm's length when in possession., "4 Things We Learned From Man Utd's Comfortable 4-0 Pre-Season Win Over Leeds," 17 July 2019 As the videos show, U.S. authorities keep them at arm's length while also responding to reports of people entering the country illegally. Fox News, "Civilian border militia spokesman indicted for impersonating US officer: prosecutors," 24 June 2019 So far, the Chinese leadership in Beijing has keep largely at arm's length over the bill, at least publicly. Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY, "Hong Kong braces for more protests as political pressure builds to delay or scrap extradition bill," 14 June 2019 Both have kept arm's length from the more radical stances demanded by the party's activist wing, while also trying to appeal both to centrist Democrats and progressives. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Julián Castro went for Beto O'Rourke's jugular by questioning his grasp of immigration law," 27 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arm's length.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of arm's length

1655, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for arm's length

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for arm's length

The first known use of arm's length was in 1655

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More Definitions for arm's length

arm's length


Legal Definition of arm's length

: the condition of the parties to a business deal in which each has independent interests and one does not dominate the other often used in the phrase at arm's length a contract made at arm's length

Other Words from arm's length

arm's-length adjective

Comments on arm's length

What made you want to look up arm's length? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealment of treason or felony

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